It will take a long time for the print media to be overtaken by the Internet in India ("Print media and Internet threat", January 26). The spread and reach of the Internet is still limited, and remains restricted to the section of people who can read and write in English. Even then, the majority of the people who use computers use them only to receive and send e-mails. People do not have the patience to go through long news items on the Internet. It is inconvenient to read newspapers and magazines on the computer screen, unless some hardware revolution makes it easier in future. It is true that people in cities have less and less time for newspapers. But the alternative for them is not the Internet but television. As far as serious magazines are concerned, the threat is remote.R. Venkataraman ChennaiU.S. hegemony
THE Cover Story ("U.S. in the dock", January 26) objectively details the background of the Bush-Saddam conflict. Saddam Hussein's hanging is yet another glaring proof of United States hegemony. The United Nation's inability to intervene betrays the American influence on the working of the international body. Even Britain, once the principal colonial power, has surrendered meekly to the U.S. However, there is always an end to anything that is grossly unjust, and American monopoly is no exception.Arun Dash Hyderabad
ONE nation embarked on a mission of destruction in Iraq and completed it without any serious objections from the 192-plus members of the U.N. The probable targets in the coming years are Iran, Syria or any other country that has a natural resource or a geo-strategic advantage. Any attack on a nation in the South or South East can destabilise the region. The U.N. seems to be utterly ineffective. Developing countries such as India should try to check U.S. hegemony. Only a multipolar world can ensure peace.Y.N. Murthy Hyderabad
THE sympathy expressed for Saddam Hussein is misplaced. The U.S. occupation of Iraq and its policies merit criticism but that does not absolve Saddam of blame. He was a dictator who committed atrocities on his countrymen and was responsible for killing thousands of them. As Tony Blair correctly put it: "[T]he crimes that Saddam committed does not excuse the manner of his execution, but the manner of his execution does not excuse the crimes." I was surprised to see admiration for Saddam's "courage". Saddam did not leave Iraq probably because the American presence made any attempt to leave Iraq extremely risky, and he did not commit a "heroic" suicide because he either lacked the courage or had lost his mental balance after becoming a fugitive.Aravind Balajee New YorkSundarbans
THE article on the sinking islands of the Sundarbans gave an indication of the ecological calamity unfolding in the region ("Going under", January 26). Though a lot of effort is directed towards relocating the threatened population to islands like Sagar (which is also sinking), should the government not focus on land reclamation strategies? The population explosion in the region has led to deforestation, which in turn has adverse effects on other flora and fauna. However, no suitable measure is being taken by the government to control population growth.Yajnavalka Banerjee SingaporeSatellite launch
THE article "Mission successful" (January 26) made interesting reading. The cheers that went up at the successful launch of PSLV-C7 were justified. The experiment with the twin technology of `re-entry' and `recovery' together with the building up of the `reusable launch vehicle' must have been a marathon task for Indian scientists.N. Vijayaraghavan ChennaiNoida murders
ONE suspects that the script would have been written differently had the child of a minister gone missing. But poor people have no political clout, and most often cannot access the instruments of justice. But public apathy is equally responsible for the tragedy. Most of the children could have been saved if their parents and neighbours had been a little more careful.Bidyut K. Chatterjee Faridabad, HaryanaAnnouncement
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